Team JETs (Joan, Emma & Tracy) Marathon Experience
Joan Emma Tracy AKA the JETs named by Jane Eccleston . After all our hard work and experiences encountered during our training runs of which included naked men and rude banter-our pre run advice was to try to sleep and not to encounter in any shenanigans.
On the morning of the Marathon Anthony Hart drove the very nervous JETs as close to the start as possible but not before being praised for being a true gent to Joan and ourselves.
We all got into our make shift bin liner waterproofs and made our way to the start line, but not before bumping into Bacon mon and Bassnett who lead us to the toilet and then offered us some Vaseline. Stupidly, I declined and I now have some small chaff wounds.
We eventually positioned ourselves at the start line and not before long the gun went and we were off, not even 50 yards over the start mat I got stood on! Luckily my feet were already frozen and couldn’t feel much of the size 9 trainer. We steadily made our way round and before we knew it we were at the 7K A&T water station. We first saw the sight of Christine who was hauling boxes onto tables, with the rest of the morning shift working away, at this point the bin liners and fleece were dumped and it was just bare arms from then on in thinking we would soon warm up, and grabbing a pouch of water we ran on. The spectators were brilliant chanting mostly Tracy’s name as we passed the crowds, myself and Joan felt like we were running alongside a celebrity we thought she was very popular and had a lot of spectators routing for her until we realised that Tracy’s name was plastered clearly over her t- shirt (A tip for next time). As we ran along I was doing my usual window browsing at spectators in pjs and the usual joke cracking which kept us all in good humour, then the foam came all I could here was Joan laughing at the back of me saying you have bubbles coming from your behind well you can imagine the banter from that! I can only assume I use too much fairy in my wash! It carried us through until we saw some more A&T friendly faces at the 16 mile point Thanks to Suzanne, Dave, Craig, Debbie, and Brenda. As we ran through the very muddy and cobbled park we came across runners clinging to fences trying anything to avoid the largest mud bath you ever saw. I offered to lend them some of my foam of which was now oozing out of my knees. Finally we dropped off the fence and continued to run along open farm lanes at which the hail was beating down in our faces (talk about brain freeze). At 18 miles we felt a boost was needed and between us all and with no feeling left in our frozen fingers we eventually managed to open Joan’s bum bag of un touched goodies, and decided to share a gel shot. Cold and numb by 20 miles we could barely even talk to each other. We just got our heads down, dug in and prayed for the 41K water station -AKA home land. Finally out in the distance ahead I saw a Blue A&T Coat running towards me, It was Anne all giddy and pleased to see me although Anne was chattering away I could barely talk back, mostly due to my face being frozen! It was so lovely to see the SEA of BLUE A&T team mates chanting for me to go. I urged for Jane to go and get Tracy and Joan, as I had run on without them. I knew that I was nearly finished and apart from having swollen hands and being very cold and wet I actually felt OK. I crossed the line with a time of 5:17:48 and Tracy and Joan followed close behind me in 5:20: 22 and 5:20:41 We all hugged and cried at the fact we had completed our first marathon and in the most freak of weather conditions. We proudly collected our medals and headed home to hot baths.
I would like to thank all of those who supported us and all the kind messages we received. One in particular from Clare who reduced me to tears and brought home the reality of the whole training and achievement - thank you! E x